The beta version of iOS 14.5 indicates that Apple may add support for separate security updates in the future. Which means that serious vulnerabilities can be fixed much faster – without the need to update the entire operating system.
The website 9to5mac has found the references to separate security updates in the beta version of iOS 14.5. References that clearly indicate that Apple is at least working on the feature, but also that it is not fully developed.
If the information is correct, this is a big step away from the previously so cumbersome update process that Apple has been sticking to since the first iOS version.
It is also a natural way forward, we want to say, as the support for separate updates makes it easier to maintain older operating systems in the future. Easier for both Apple and users.
Already today, Apple has a flexible system in macOS to share the updates.
If you have an older version of macOS, you can choose to get the latest security fixes separately from the major upgrade. It facilitates and makes everything much more secure for those who for various reasons can not upgrade the entire macOS – and maybe soon also iOS / iPadOS.
There are no indications that iOS 14.5 will actually see this feature enabled. Instead, it is more likely that Apple will lay the foundation today, but that separate updates will come as a function with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 instead.